Trouble achieving orgasm is not uncommon
Submitted by: Marc Gittelman
Submitted on: June 6, 2006
Q: I’m 54 and sexually active. I still have monthly menstrual periods and there has only been only one sign of menopause. I usually orgasm daily, but recently it has become difficult. I reach the edge, stay there and find it taking longer to have the release of an orgasm. When I’m on that edge I tend to hold my breath and I am afraid that I might stroke out. Is this normal? What can I do?
A: Medical surveys show that 28 percent of American women have difficulty reaching orgasm. Their problems include a delayed orgasm, extra effort required to reach orgasm and a decreased sense of orgasmic strength. Other women may not be able to achieve orgasm at all. For some women this is a lifelong problem and for other’s it happens as they age, reach menopause, or have medical or psychological problems. The vast majority of these women say that their problem causes them distress in their personal life or within the context of their personal life or within the context of their sexual relationship with their partner.
It’s important to recognize that many women will also have other sexual problems at the same time such as decreased desire, decreased arousal (lubrication), or decreased psychological arousal during intimacy. Other women may have concomitant problems with pain during sexual relations, which can clearly inhibit orgasm. And, of course, personal and intimacy issues with the partner can also contribute to delay or absence of orgasm.
Treatments are extremely varied and tailored to your individual circumstance. Certainly any premenopausal woman needs to check with her gynecologist to be sure that estrogen and other hormones are in balance. A thorough physical exam can help to detect some physical problems in your genitals that may be the cause of subtle and distracting pain during sex. Early diabetes or thyroids problems can cause decreased sensitivity as well. And, lastly, a better understanding of your sexuality and your relationship would be worthwhile to better shine some light on underlying psychological issues that may be holding you back from the pleasure you are also appropriately seeking.